Select Committee’s Inquiry into Adult Literacy and Numeracy

We need to spread the message that the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has announced a new inquiry into adult literacy and numeracy (but not English for Speakers of Other Languages). This is an important development and an opportunity to contribute to policy on an issue highlighted so starkly in the recent PIAAC report, referred to in earlier blogs. The time for responses is tight so we should let people know about this as soon as we can and encourage responses.
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The Committee has invited written answers to the following questions:
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  • What is the Government currently doing to help adults improve their reading, writing and maths skills ?
  • How can the Government make sure that adults have the right skills that can help them find a job, which in turn will help the country, and more widely?
  • What are the best ways to help adults learn how to read, write and do maths—through formal education providers or in a different way?

This is a chance to show evidence of the difference that adult and community learning makes, together with how and why it works. It’s an opportunity to move the literacy and numeracy debate beyond an important but restricted ‘school-leavers and employers’ discussion.

Reading, writing and maths are functional skills that can help people to find jobs and we know that they also have an impact in other areas of their lives. They are fundamental to each of the WEA’s educational themes – employability, health and wellbeing, community engagement and culture – and we know that adults have many different starting points and initial motivations to get back into learning.

The WEA is enthusiastic about this inquiry and will be submitting a formal response but we also encourage other people to do so. We need a compelling range of collective responses so that more adults can benefit from improving their literacy, numeracy and lives but…

the deadline for the submission of written evidence is Thursday 6 February 2014.

You can find the official link to the inquiry here.